What are musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs? What are their symptoms? MSDs are the leading occupational disease in France, bringing together a set of pains in the muscles and tendons, causing uncomfortable sensations such as numbness, tingling, etc. These conditions cause serious disruption to daily life.

What are the main causes of MSDs?

Several risk factors can explain the appearance of MSDs.

  • Individual physical factors: excess weight, attacks of inflammatory rheumatism or even diabetes significantly increase the risks of developing a musculoskeletal disorder.
  • The working environment: a cold or poorly lit workplace, which requires you to adopt uncomfortable positions, also promotes exposure to MSDs.
  • Working conditions: stress, work overload, dissatisfaction at work are all factors that can contribute to the appearance of musculoskeletal disorders.

What are the main musculoskeletal disorders?

About 98% of illnesses affect the upper body. Here is the percentage of areas affected by MSD:

• 37% of MSDs are located in the shoulders.

• 40% of MSDs affect the wrists and hands.

• 21% of MSDs concentrate on the elbows.

What are the different diseases?

Neck pain

Set of pains felt in the cervical region, from the upper back to the neck. It is often caused by poor posture, prolonged computer use, or tension in an upper body muscle caused by poor posture.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Disorder related to compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. This nerve is responsible for hand and wrist movements. When compressed, which frequently occurs due to repetitive gestures like mouse clicks, the transmission of nerve impulses becomes difficult.

Low back pain

Commonly called “back pain”, “lumbago” or “back pain”, it is characterized by pain localized in the lumbar vertebrae. This pain can radiate to the buttocks, or even extend to the back of the knee. It is the leading cause of disability before the age of 45.


Inflammation of a tendon (band connecting a muscle to a bone) mainly occurring in the elbow and shoulders. This inflammation causes acute pain which can have different origins. The healing process for tendinitis is often long.

The symptom of heavy legs

Unpleasant sensations such as tingling, numbness, tingling or burning which can lead to pain in the legs. They are linked to poor circulation of blood in the veins.

A major public health issue for businesses

MSDs represent the most widespread occupational health problem in all sectors of activity. Since 2013, the number of MSDs has increased by more than 60% in France. 1 in 3 employees have had to stop working due to health problems linked to poor work posture, with an average sick leave of 22 days.

• 8 out of 10 French people say they have suffered from pain.

• 8 million work stoppages are due to MSDs.

• Annual cost of €800 million.

Ergonomic preventive measures for MSDs: advice from Unilux

A good working posture increases both productivity for the company and comfort and safety for employees. In 92% of companies, employees themselves develop emergency solutions to compensate for the lack of ergonomics at workstations. It is for these reasons that UNILUX imagines products with functional, ergonomic concepts and a harmonious and daring design. Some tips for diagnosing work posture:

● Use a footrest to tilt the foot 15°.

● Make sure the elbow angle is 90° or slightly obtuse.

● Keep your forearms close to your body and rest them on the armrests.

● Make sure the hand is in alignment with the forearm and support it with a wrist rest.

● Keep your back straight or slightly tilted back, with back support.

● Keep your head straight or tilted slightly forward.

● Adjust the screen height so that the top of the screen is at eye level.

● Prefer a worktop with a matte surface.


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